Chef’s Special: Silks Bistro & Champagne Bar, Atlantic Hotel, Newquay

Slow cooked Gloucester Old Spot Belly of Pork and Pork Fillet, pea croquette with a black pudding crumb, pea rillette, sour apple coulis and pea salt.

Slow cooked Gloucester Old Spot

Aaron Janes

Recipe by: Aaron Janes, Head Chef, Silks Bistro & Champagne Bar, Atlantic Hotel, Newquay.

Aaron lives, breaths and dreams food, such is his passion for Silks restaurant that he helped to create back in 2004. His desire is to bring cooking in Cornwall, well and truly into the 21st century by creating classic British dishes with the very best Cornish ingredients.

“I like using only two simple ingredients and do something spectacular with them,” he explains. “As with the pea and pork – cooked in a variety of different ways with the added the element of delight and surprise so that people say, gosh that really tastes of peas!”

“The Gloucester Old Spot for this dish come from Ballardsfield Farm (practically next door to where I live), It’s great to see exactly where and how the pigs are raised. That’s the fantastic thing about Cornwall, sea and farmland is so close by and variety of produce is abundant and when there’s a glut of top quality something in season, I believe it’s best to grab it when you can!”

“The dish is really not as complicated to create as it sounds.  Every stage is really very simple. There are no complicated techniques, it’s just planning and having all the elements ready to use in advance,” Aaron reassures. “Using a water bath ensures that the meat is kept tender, full of flavour and melts in the mouth when you eat it. Having the meat perfectly cooked beforehand means it is instantly ready to be given the last stage of the cooking to order.” Continue reading


Scrumptious Summer Desserts

elderflower cordial

Image via Wikipedia

I don’t normally do this. Post something which isn’t Cornish. But in a moment of weakness – and I’m a sucker for delicious summer deserts.

So here’s some, featuring cordials by Belvoir Fruit Farm from Lincolnshire that capture the very essence of summertime…

But feel free to supplement with good Cornish alternatives! Continue reading

Chef’s Special: Bustophers Bar Bistro, Truro

Balsamic Poached Cornish Strawberry Mille Feuille with Spun Sugar

Recipe by: Dale McIntosh, Head Chef, Bustophers Bar Bistro.

When General Manager Tom Hancock and his wife Vicky approached Dale McIntosh to take over as Head Chef at Bustophers, he wasn’t to know how lucky an opportunity it would be. “Bustophers is about creating a whole dining experience. People like to be able to linger, dink at the bar and take time over dinner,” said Dale, adding, “It felt right. I can spend more time over the food, plus Tom and Vicky aim to win awards for their food and service as much I do.”

Continue reading

Chef’s Special: The Bay Restaurant at Hotel Penzance

Ben Reeves

Slow Roasted Primrose Herd Belly Pork



Slow Roasted Primrose Herd Belly Pork, Crushed Cannellini Beans, Smoked Bacon and Vegetable Dressing.

Recipe by: Ben Reeve, Head Chef, The Bay Restaurant at Hotel Penzance

Ben is a local boy returned. Schooled in Hayle, trained in Camborne, and then he left to travel far and wide. He’s worked in Australia, France and all over Britain including spending 5 years in the capital. However, he never thought he’d ultimately spend his life working in London. Six years at The Bay has been a welcome return. In Cornwall he now feels properly at home.

“In the last 10 or 15 years the standard of food has become incredibly high in Cornwall. When I first started, it was necessary to move out of the county to learn how to cook to the highest standard. Now it is possible for any new apprentice to train locally; as we’ve inspiring restaurants and talented chefs right here.”

Ben’s describes his cooking as ‘modern English fine dining’. “The food style is lighter and there are no so many cream sauces…” It is a move away from times when dinners felt were too stuffed to enjoy dessert. “Our aim is for people to be able to eat and enjoy three courses comfortably, so I write my menus with this aim in mind.”

“Primrose Herd pork is from Gloucester Old Spot pigs which is quite a sweet meat. In part the flavour is from the breed but particularly in the way the pigs are raised and fed. The trick is to cook it very slowly, which keeps it succulent and juicy, enhancing the flavour with garlic and herbs.”

The Bay restaurant is soon to launch an open ‘all-day’ dining concept. Keeping the standard of food just as high, but allowing for a more informal feel where customers can enjoy the restaurant at all times of the day, from breakfast, lunch, teas, through to fine dining in the evening. Continue reading

Chef’s Special: The Brasserie at Roserrow

Pot Roast Shoulder of Cornish Lamb, Potatoes Dauphinoise, Thyme Jus

Head chef Ryan Tomkins

Pot Roast Shoulder of Cornish Lamb, Potatoes Dauphinoise, Thyme Jus

Recipe by: Ryan Tomkins, Head Chef, The Brasserie at Roserrow.

“Simple, local, unpretentious food cooked well,” best describes the cuisine Ryan aims to produce. “The lamb is sourced from Button Farm, up the road, and many of the vegetables are grown a stone’s throw from here.”  However the care in preparation shouldn’t be underestimated. This is a very popular signature dish for the winter that takes two days to prepare. It’s cut of lamb not commonly used, however after carefully marinating for around 24 hours and cooking for 7 hours; the resulting dish is elegant and very flavoursome. “Everybody loves it and it creates a fantastic reaction with our dinners.”

Ryan, who originally grew up in Cornwall, has 15 years experience as a chef from inside and outside the county winning many competitions including winning ‘Chef of the West’ in 2006. For the last two years Ryan was Head Chef at Viner’s near Summercourt (owned by Michelin starred chef Kevin Viner).

Roserrow’s Golf & Country Club is currently undergoing a real change and transformation in style and the aim is to turn the Brasserie restaurant into a fine dining destination choice in its own right. Ryan is keen for this new challenge. “It is far easier to take over as Head Chef where a restaurant has already an established name,” he says, “but to start with a blank canvass, working hard to achieve a new reputation for high quality dining, is an exciting opportunity for me.” Having already assembled a great team, many of whom he worked with before at Viner’s, and he aims to gain a couple of rosettes for this new restaurant in the next two to three years. Continue reading

When it’s better to turn a Nathan Outlaw pasty into a pie…

Having made my PGI pasties last week to celebrate St. Piran’s Day there may have been yawning disappointment if I served what looked like a repeat performance…and then to have the exclamation of outrage with the first bite, “What no meat?!”

I followed Nathan’s ‘not a Cornish pasty but made with Cornish ingredients’ recipe and in a farewell nod to British Pie Week made this instead.

Now that this recipe has been turned into a pie, no Cornish folk need get flustered by the carrots.

‘Carrots in a pasty! You never put carrots in a pasty.’ Continue reading

St. Piran’s day and the celebratory pasty.

A Cornish Pasty: The genuine article

It was St. Piran’s Day last Saturday.

The patron saint of tin miners and Cornwall, and since one of my son’s is a Piran, it’s only fitting then, since the Cornish Pasty has just received a Protected Geographical Indication(PGI) status, That I should make some Cornish pasties to celebrate.

I’d always thought that I had to be at least three generations Cornish before I’d be able to make a proper one. I might have lived all my life here, but  I was forced to follow my mother into the maternity hospital in Plymouth. So my crimping standard will doubtless let me down…

A genuine Cornish pasty has a distinctive ‘D’ shape and is crimped on one side, never on top. The texture of the filling is chunky, made up of uncooked minced or roughly cut chunks of beef (not less than 12.5%), swede, potato, onion with a light seasoning. The pastry casing is golden in colour, savoury, glazed with milk or egg and robust enough to retain its shape throughout the cooking and cooling process without splitting or cracking. The pasty is slow-baked and no artificial flavourings or additives must be used.

It must also be made in Cornwall. Continue reading